Road trip with four teens, just shoot me now! Lol. We used to live in Oklahoma and a trip over to colorado or New Mexico wasn't too bad. I can't imagine driving from here. We have used VRBO many times and have always been happy.
Go to North Carolina up by Ashville. Be sure to go to the Biltmore Estate. Stunning everyday but especially at Christmas. If you go, be sure to do the audio with each ticket. It's so much better with a lot more information. I have been to this estate 3 times and I still love it every time I go.
We planned a road trip to Petit Jean State Park near Conway, Arkansas at Christmas one year. They had to cancel on us at the last minute as the road was icy leading up to the camping area. Otherwise, this is a great place to camp.
Estes Park, CO Elk roam the streets to create "traffic" and the Stanley Hotel is there. It's the hotel Stephen King used as his inspiration for The Shining. At the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.